Six Nations: France change seven for Murrayfield clash
Last Updated: 06/03/14 11:08am
Phillipe Saint-Andre: Forced to pick much-changed team
France have made seven changes to their line-up for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.
Boss Phillipe Saint-Andre has been forced to change half his team because of injuries and suspensions.
There are three changes in the back-line, and four in the pack for the trip to Edinburgh.
Toulon centre Maxime Mermoz returns to partner Mathieu Bastereaud in midfield, with Wesley Fofana ruled out through injury.
On the left wing Toulouse star Maxime Medard comes in for Hugo Bonneval and Racing Metro scrum-half Maxime Machenaud replaces Jean-Marc Doussain.
Up front there is an entirely new back row with Sebastien Vahaamahina, Alexandre Lapandry, and Damien Chouly replacing the injured Yannick Nyanga, Wenceslas Lauret, and the suspended Louis Picamoles.
In the front row Castres hooker Brice Mach replaces the injured Dimitri Szarzweski.
Picamoles has been suspended by Saint-Andre for sarcastically applauding Irish referee Alain Rolland during the 27-6 defeat to Wales in Cardiff 10 days ago.
He is one of 10 players unavailable for the Murrayfield match. Scrum-half Morgan Parra is suspended after being sent off whilst on Top 14 duty for Clermont Auvergne for headbutting Rene Ranger.
Centres Fofana and Florian Fritz are injured along with winger Sofiane Guitoune, No 10 Camille Lopez, flankers Thierry Dusautoir, Nyanga, Fulgence Ouedraogo and Bernard Le Roux and hookers Benjamin Kayser and Dimitri Szarzweski.
France, despite suffering a heaviest defeat against Wales since 1950, are still in the Six Nations title mix along with Wales, England and Ireland.
And they will head to Edinburgh on the back of seven successive victories over Scotland since they suffered a 20-16 reversal in 2006.
Saint-Andre said: "Some of the changes are due to injuries like those of Dimitri Szarsewski, Yannick Nyanga, Wesley Fofana. But when you leave out some of those who had been starting, it is either a punishment due to their performances or their lack of self-control.
"The performance of the players needs to be called into question and we are expecting a response so that our supporters can be proud of their team at Murrayfield.
"We can still win the tournament, which a lot of people forget."
On Picamoles he said: "Our sport is about combat but we must also respect the referee's decisions, regardless of whether they are good or bad.
"We had too many cry-babies (in Cardiff), too many players who spoke and made things difficult for the captain Pascal Pape.
"On Saturday, Pascal will be allowed to speak to the referee but the other 14 must work for the team and maintain their self-control."
France: 15 Dulin, 14 Huget, 13 Bastareaud, 12 Mermoz, 11 Medard, 10 Plisson, 9 Machenaud, 1 Dominco, 2 Mach, 3 Mas, 4 Pape, 5 Maestri, 6 Vahaamahina, 7 Lapandry, 8 Chouly
Replacements: 16 Guirado, 17 Debaty, 18 Slimani, 19 Flanquart, 20 Claassen, 21 Doussain, 22 Tales, 23 Fickou